Smoking A Brisket Flat Only (In 5 Simple Steps)

Everyone loves smoked brisket!

Unfortunately, the process of cooking a whole packer brisket can take a long time

For those who want a delicious piece of meat with a shorter cooking time, just smoking the brisket flat is the perfect solution!

However smoking the flat only can lead to a dry brisket!

Below you’ll learn how to smoke the flat on the pellet grill like a true pitmaster

Brisket Flat vs Brisket Point Cut

You can cut a brisket in half

The flat cut of the brisket makes up the leaner portion of the full brisket.

Conversely, the brisket point is much thicker and has more fat and connective tissue.

That layer of fat on the point makes the meat more juicy and flavorful.

Benefits of Smoking Brisket Flats 

A brisket flat is much easier to find than a whole packer brisket.

Making it the more convenient option.

They have an even thickness to them.

As a result, the flat cooks more evenly.

Brisket flats are also much faster to cook compared to a full-packer brisket.

Depending on the size and thickness, it may take the same amount of time to make delicious brisket as some baby back ribs.

Additionally, since they are smaller you can cook multiple flats simultaneously.

You’ll be able to serve a large group of people, making them the perfect option for tailgating or backyard grill parties. 

Not to mention, it’s much easier to slice due to its uniform shape.

Making Burnt Ends With Brisket Flat

Burnt edns is a delicious ways to use your flat cut of brisket

See the recipe for brisket flat burnt ends here.

How to Smoke a Brisket Flat Using a Pellet Grill

Follow along with our recipe below to produce mouth-water and juicy bbq brisket.

What You Need 

Always ensure that you’re buying a high-quality brisket.

You can go for choice or prime brisket.

We recommend about a 4-5 pound brisket since small cuts can dry out easily and lead to overcooking.

Here are these ingredients that’ll make your cooked brisket more delicious:

  • Extra virgin oil or mustard to bind the rub
  • 1 tablespoon paprika 
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/4 cup beef stock 
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper 
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder 

How to Prep the Brisket Flat

It’s best to start by trimming a layer of fat off the brisket using a sharp knife.

Trim the excess fat off the fat cap side, leaving only a thin layer of fat.

Ideally, only leave about 1/4 inch of fat on the fat cap side so that the meat has some insulation as it smokes. 

Use the extra virgin olive oil or mustard to bind the brisket rub to the surface of the meat.

Then mix all the rub ingredients together in a bowl. Then evenly distribute it over the meat.

This combination of brisket rub adds the perfect blend of flavor and texture to the meat while retaining moisture. 

Smoking the Brisket Flat

When smoking the meat, it’s important to get the internal temperature right. 

Next, prepare the pellet grill by setting the cooking temperature to 220°F degrees and filling the water pan

Step 1: Place The Brisket in The Pellet Grill

Put the seasoned brisket on the pellet grill with the fat side facing down towards the heat source.

Malcolm Reed of the Killer Hogs BBQ team recommends placing it face down to keep the bottom from drying out quickly. 

Step 2: Insert The Temp Probe and Monitor

Insert meat probe and smoke the brisket.

To develop a good bark on the brisket avoid spritzing for the first two hours.

Then choose one of these liquids to spritz your brisket

The brisket stall usually occurs around 145°F – 165°F

When the temp stops rising at a regular rate, take the brisket flat off the grill and wrap the brisket in butcher paper.

To keep the meat moist you can try basting the meat with Worcestershire sauce and beef broth

Step 3: Smoke Until 204°F

 Turn the grill to 250°F and place the wrapped brisket back on the grill.

Cook until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 204°F. 

The best way to tell if the brisket flat is finished is to insert a temperature probe to check the internal temperature.

The brisket flat is finished when the internal temperature reaches 200 to 205°F.

When cooking brisket, only rely on the internal temp.

Avoid checking for physical appearance as the exterior can be deceiving.

When the flat temperature has reached this point, take it off the wood pellet grill.

Step 4: Rest The Brisket in a Cooler

Then rest brisket for about an hour to complete the cooking process. 

Toorest the brisket, wrap the brisket tightly in a blanket or old towels, and place it in a cooler for up to 4 hours until ready to eat.

The resting period allows the brisket to finish cooking while retaining the flavor. 

Step 5: Slice and Enjoy!

Cut the brisket into slices and serve. Only slice what you guest and you will eat.

It’s easier to reheat brisket that hasn’t been sliced as it retains its moisture.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Brisket Flat?

It takes 10 hours to cook a 5lb brisket flat.

However, you want to cook for temps, not time.

When the internal temperature reaches 204°F pull your brisket from the smoker.

Challenges of Smoking the Brisket Flat

There are some challenges with smoking brisket flat.

The first is the leanness of the meat.

That’s why it’s important to leave a little bit of fat; otherwise, the meat can quickly dry out.

Do not overcook it, leading to the moisture leaving the meat. 

Does the Brisket Flat Stall?

There’s also the dreaded brisket stall.

This occurs when the meat’s moisture is squeezed out as it constricts.

As a result, the meat begins to cool and reduces the internal temperature, this usually starts to happen around 160°F

Of course, by slow cooking it and being patient, the temperature will begin to rise again.

The seasoning ingredients also help to retain and add moisture to the brisket. 

There’s a reason why bbq briskets are one of the best choices of meat to smoke.

This flavorful meat is simple to cook, even for beginners.

What to Serve With Brisket?

Brisket is good with the classics, like corn, mashed potatoes, and green beans

See the full list of sides to serve with brisket here.

Smoking Brisket Flat

Get ready to impress your friends and family with our amazing brisket flat recipe. 
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time7 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 500kcal
Cost: 20

Equipment

  • 1 Pellet smoker

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pound brisket flat
  • Extra virgin oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • It’s best to start by trimming a layer of fat off the brisket packer using a sharp knife.
  • Trim the excess fat off the fat cap side, leaving only a thin layer of fat.
  • Ideally, only leave about 1/4 inch of fat on the fat cap side so that the meat has some insulation as it smokes.
  • Use the extra virgin olive oil has brisket rub to help the seasoning absorb better onto the meat.
  • Then sprinkle the ingredients above evenly on the brisket and rub them onto the meat.
  • Next, prepare the brisket pellet grill for slow and low smoking by setting the cooking temperature to 195 degrees.
  • Remove from packaging and pat dry.
  • Then season with equal parts salt and black pepper until thoroughly coated.
  • Preheat smoker to 225 and fill water pan.
  • Put the seasoned brisket on the pellet grill with the fat side facing down towards the heat source.
  • Insert meat prob and smoke the brisket for 7 hours until it has an internal temperature of 160°F.
  • When the temp stops rising at a regular rate, take the brisket flat off the grill and set the brisket in butcher paper.
  • Then baste the meat by pouring Worcestershire sauce and beef broth over it.
  • Turn the grill to 250°F in cooking temperature and place the meat on the grill again.
  • Cook until the temperature reaches 204°F.
  • When the flat temperature has reached this point, take it off the wood pellet grill.
  • Then rest brisket for about an hour to complete the cooking process.
  • The brisket flat is finished when the internal temperature reaches 200 to 205°F.
  • Then wrap the brisket tightly in a blanket or old towels and place in a cooler for up to 4 hours until ready to eat.
  • The resting period allows the brisket to finish cooking while retaining the flavor.
  • Cut the brisket into slices and serve.

Now take what you’ve learned and impress your friends and family with our amazing brisket flat recipe. 

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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